By Abbas Kabonge
The disturbing lack of protective clothing for health workers in Uganda has led to the death of two women in labor.
The two mothers had turned up at one of the rural government health facilities in Mubende for antenatal care when health workers reportedly declined to treat them.
The health workers suspected the women to be victims of COVID19 and so feared treating them in absence of protective clothing.
A number of eyewitnesses reported how the health workers in Mubende have been shying away from treating suspected COVID19 patients in absence of protective clothing.
" They don't touch you if they suspect you to be suffering from COVID19. They say they fear losing their own lives because the government doesn't provide them with protective gears," the locals assert.
A number of health workers have lost their lives after being exposed to pandemics while treating patients without protective gears. Such victims include Dr. Mathew Lukwiya who died at the prime age of forty-three while treating Ebola patients at Lakwor hospital in Gulu. He died on December 5, 2000. The Government of Uganda declared him a national hero.
The district's health officer, Dr Lawrence Ssemuddu confirmed the death of the two pregnant mothers but gave a contrary version regarding the death of the two women.
" One died while she was waiting to take Covid19. test. The other had tested positive for Covid19. She died as we waited for transport to transfer her to Namboole Covid Center for treatment," Dr Ssemuddu states.
Dr Ssemuddu had called the country's main Mulago referral hospital to book admission for the one woman who was found to be positive. He was told to try Namboole because there was no space for the deceased.
Meanwhile, the LCV chairman for Mubende, Fred Kazibwe Zzimula has fought to fire doctors who refuse to attend to patients citing a lack of protective gear.
" I will not accept such fatal negligence on part of the health workers. They must either work or pack up and go home," Zzimula stated on receipt of the news of the death of the two pregnant women.
He stopped ranting. He did not say why the district leadership has not been budgeting for the protective clothing for health workers and whether he was going to contact the central government to do the needful.